It was one of those days, where I spoke to a potential partner about competitive advantage. It was hard to get a read on the person, like so many others. Jobs said people don’t know what they want, you have to show them. But some people do not know what they want even after you show them. Jobs, people know they want a thing; a tangible thing, when they see it, but they struggle with abstract things.
Okay, that headline was false. I did not really deeply research this phenomenon that I come to call the Rowe Effect. But, I’ve kept an eye on it for a few decades. Uber is an abstract concept that was sufficiently executed and then grew into the thing that we know it as today. Few people know that Uber was not a “taxi service” as such, but an app for people to carpool. Through need and supply, pivots and incrementalism, the Uber Original became Uber Today. Companies like Lyft, on the other hand, saw during the early stages of Uber that there is an need for a crowd sourced taxi service, if one can label it as such. Lyft never had to go through the metamorphosis.
I have to remind myself that this is a media/video blog and not rant about my frustrations swimming up-stream. Video on the Internet (VOI) are solidly part of our daily info or entertainment diet. But unlike the old day, when you got your info and entertainment over a square box, there are in modernity none of the gate keepers in the form of broadcast bosses. Or is there?
How no one can see this is beyond me. The modern gatekeeper is not the whimfull TV boss; it is a highly logical algorithm that gets its marching orders from a democratic consensus. This is a mouthful, but let me say it in another way: what you see in your feed is what everyone wants to see in their feed. To get out of that track is very hard. Also for said track to change is a slow and difficult process. If no one is discovering you it will be hard to be discovered. If you already highly ranked, you will rank more highly. This is obvious but what is less apparent is that a lot of great content will never hit your eyeballs because there is a curation problem which the old days of TV did not have. Sure the old days had other issues, but this issue is an elephant in the room, at least for me.
Let Me Spell It Out
Content producers, technicians, service providers et-all should self-unionize and self-curate. They should form teams, groups, circles; networks where their efforts can be co-ordained. Things like knowledge, skills, and even cost of marketing can be co-opted. Burden and profits are shared. It comes down to game-theory of which I wrote earlier.
But in most cases, what I observe is that most prefer the cupcake over the 4 tier wedding cake. Most understand cupcake and are intimidated by the complexity of 4 tier wedding cake. Or, and this is the most likely, they will rather have all of a cupcake than; God Forbid, share any part of a wedding cake.